Monthly Archives: February 2015


You guys, I just got back from a real neat little weekend trip. My friend Ryan and I got tickets to the Celtic-Inter Milan soccer game on Thursday night, so we took the train over to Glasgow Thursday afternoon, about a two hour ride from St. Andrews. Despite being pretty disorganized the trip went remarkably smooth logistics-wise. So I learned a valuable lesson; never plan anything in advance.

We got to Glasgow and dropped off our stuff at our hostel, the Tartan Lodge, aka the Dirty Tart. Then we walked to Celtic Park on the east side of town, joining the many other drunk chanting fans streaming towards the stadium. Everything was amazing; sold-out crowd, great atmosphere, and the game itself was incredibly exciting.

Inter Milan got off to a 2-0 lead in like the first ten minutes, which was a major bummer, especially for the die-hard fans sitting all around us. I’m guessing that I’m not allowed to relay the colorful language they used since this blog is on the school website, so you’ll just have to imagine the auditory glory of listening to contless Scotsmen berate Inter Milan with maximum volume and profanity. It was incredible. Even more incredibly, Celtic came back and tied it 2-2 before giving up another weak goal to go into halftime down 3-2.

The second half was competitive the whole way through, with Inter playing a bit more conservatively to try and preserve their lead. Celtic put a good deal of pressure on the Inter defense before finally scoring in stoppage time to end with a hard-fought tie, 3-3. I hugged the Scottish guy next to me and jumped up and down and pretended to know the words to the chants that resounded throughout the stadium. It was absolutely thrilling, and I think I will be happy for two weeks just because of that one moment.

On Friday, Ryan and I met up with a few more guys from school and walked around Glasgow. On our way to meet them, Ryan and I walked through the Necropolis and the Glasgow Cathedral, which was gorgeous. Then we met the guys at the bus station and visited the Hunterian Museum, which I loved because they had a couple full dinosaur skeletons. As a kid, I really wanted to be a paleontologist, and the skeletons reminded me why; dinosaurs are dope. We also hit up the Kelvingrove Museum, which was also pretty interesting one highlight being Salvador Dali’s Christ of Saint John the Cross. It’s famous and it looks cool.

From there, we headed into the center of the city and checked out the Lighthouse, which is a pretty funky museum largely devoted to the Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. I wish I had paid better attention at this museum but I was crazy tired from walking so much and the aching pains in my legs were melting my brain (I’m pretty sure that’s the medical explanation). To cap off a long day, we went to a comedy club, which was funny, but also kind of difficult because I couldn’t understand a couple of the comedians very well. Those accents are no joke.

So yeah, it was a very fun couple of days. I got back to St. Andrews yesterday and I’ve spent the time since working on the two essays I have due this week. This week is shaping up to be a little schoolwork-heavy, but I’m sure I’ll have some fun too. Go Celtic.


I’m afraid I don’t have too much to tell you, dear reader. For the past few days I’ve been dealing with the stomach flu; time meant for Instagram-worthy travels has instead been spent shivering in my bed watching Netflix and scurrying to the bathroom. Not ideal. However, I did have one excellent little anecdote B.F. (Before Flu) that is worth sharing.

I was pretty bored Monday night, so I went to the Dunvegan, a pub that is right across the street from my dorm. I went by myself, because part of my desire to come abroad was to learn how to be alone. I didn’t really know what to expect, since it’s sort of in the area of town that’s more for golf tourists, so the students don’t go there as much. I didn’t expect too much; I figured I’d go in, grab a beer and write in my notebook for a bit, because I’m trying to learn how to write short stories, and sometimes I like to act like a pretentious artist. Whatever.

So I walked in there to find a massive crowd of one, two if you count the bartender. I took my seat, ordered something on tap, and set my notebook on the bar. Then, the old guy sitting next to me starts talking to me. And for the next hour, he barely stops.

Bob, an 81 year-old retired Scottish electrician/caddy, told me about his caddy days at the Old Course, the state of Scottish football, his memories of World War II, Roman history in Scotland, why it’s ok that the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl, the pros and cons of being an electrician, etc., etc.

I couldn’t understand a decent amount of what he said because I’m an ignorant American, but overall we had a great conversation. And the bartender, Danielle, was super nice as well. Bob comes to the Dunvegan very frequently, so he and Danielle are definitely homies. He even bakes bran loaf for her and the other bartenders, but on Monday night, I got to take one of the loaves. And it was pretty good! The name “bran loaf” isn’t terribly appealing, but the loaf itself exceeded expectations.

That hour in the Dunvegan was pretty much why I did this study abroad thing. Seeing the sights is great, taking scenic pictures with #nofilter is excellent, but it was really wonderful to move past the novelty of “look at me I’m in Europe” and actually just talk with someone who’s lived a totally different life and get to know them. It was really cool to get to know Bob.

Next on the agenda: recover from this ghastly illness, get ahead on some schoolwork, go to Glasgow (Thurs-Sat). Should be a good time.


Wow, what a roller coaster of a week, folks. Both in the sense that it had many ups and downs, and also in the sense that at one point I felt like I was about to vomit a bunch of carnival food. It sounds weird but it will make sense, I promise. Anyways, let’s run through some of the ups and downs!

Up #1: My friend Ellie came to visit on Friday! Ellie goes to Notre Dame and is studying in Dublin this spring, and she was nice enough to come spend a day in St. Andrews with ya boy. I got to show her and her friends around the town, mostly along the shore as we walked from the cathedral down to the West Sands, hitting the pier, castle, and Old Course along the way. The weather was wonderful, and Ellie and Co. seemed to legitimately enjoy their tour. It was kind of a nice validating feeling to know that others were as enamored with this place as I am; it made me feel like I made the right choice to come here.

Down #1: I made my Scottish football debut on Sunday morning, playing with my hall team, the McIntosh Minotaurs. I had practiced with them on Sunday, staking my territory as one of the better players, so I was excited to go wreck some kids in our match. I was balling pretty hard to start out, but 30 minutes in, I pulled my hamstring. This was both very painful and a sobering moment in which I recognized I was no longer the spry young lad I once was. I was now the fragile old guy who pulls muscles in casual Sunday morning matches. Given that I was planning on playing a lot of football over here and being active in general, it has been a little irritating to rest my hammy. But that’s how it’s going to be for a couple weeks.

Up #2: I went to the activities fair and signed up for Surf Club. I do not know how to surf, but I am soooo stoked to surf. Like, who would’ve thought that surfing would be a thing in Scotland? But it is! Wow!

Down #2: The Seahawks lost. I don’t want to get into details, man. It looked like they were going to win, and then they lost, and then I felt like I was going to vomit carnival food. It still hurts. I cried so hard on Sunday night that I passed out from dehydration. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, screaming, “Give the ball to Marshawn!” Dark times.

Up #3: School stuff has been pretty good. I’ve had a TON of reading this week, but it’s been interesting for the most part, and I’ve gotten to explore the many coffee shops and bookstores where one can chill out and read. My favorite right now is Topping, a nice bookstore a block from my dorm that gives you free coffee while you’re reading. A quick top five ranking of reading spots:

  • Topping: free coffee, excellent ambiance
  • Con panna: quiet, not too crowded
  • Bibi’s Café: nice but a little dark
  • Costa: too crowded
  • Starbucks: you’re in Scotland, why are you going to Starbucks, you’re better than that

Anywho, that’s how it’s going. Life’s good. I have a bunch of reading to do this weekend, and I’ll probably watch some football at the pub of whatever. Go Seahawks.